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VoIP – What does it stand for?

Kelly Avatar By: Kelly | Last updated February 11, 2021

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As technology has improved tremendously over the years, so have communication methods, which have become more versatile, more flexible and affordable.

Traditional telephony based on landlines has become outdated and it’s being replaced all over the world by VoIP, both at the individual level as well as in businesses.

What is VoIP?

VoIP is short for Voice Over The Internet Protocol and it is a technology that allows you to make and receive calls using the internet instead of landlines.

VoIP works by taking the analog signal, converting it into digital packets of data, encrypting those packets and then sending them to their recipient, via internet protocols. Unless the call that’s being placed is between 2 VoIP users, the signal will be converted back to analog once it reaches its destination.

VoIP can be used if you want to call other VoIP users, if you want to call someone who still uses analog telephony, you can use VoIP with computers, laptops and even your smartphone.

Most people have been using VoIP for years now and don’t even realize it. When you call someone through Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, you are basically using VoIP.

What are the advantages of VoIP?

The fact that it relies on the internet makes VoIP a much more versatile and flexible technology than traditional telephony.

With the signal being digital now, you get other benefits and features such as online faxing, call forwarding, caller ID, video conferencing, voicemail to email and many more.

VoIP doesn’t require you to be in a specific location in order to be able to use it. As long as you have access to internet and you are subscribed to a VoIP service, you can make VoIP calls no matter where you are in the world.

The fact that wires are no longer necessary and you don’t use landlines anymore are also great from a financial point of view. Your phone bill will decrease considerably even if you have to make a lot of long-distance calls, which have always been costly with traditional telephony.

What do you need in order to use VoIP?

While you can use VoIP with special VoIP phones, which can be wireless or desk phones, they are in fact not vital for using this technology. You can also use VoIP with just your computer and a headset, with a laptop or smartphone, as long as the VoIP service provider offers softphone support.

A softphone is a software that you have to install on your device in order to be able to make VoIP calls. They are great for remote workers, home users and more.

VoIP allows you to continue using your analog phone as well, if the alternatives presented above don’t appeal to you. In order to use VoIP with your old phone, all you have to do is use a special VoIP adapter that you will receive from your VoIP provider when you sign up for their service.

Setting up a VoIP system is a breeze and a DIY job, which saves you even more money. It’s a few minutes’ job and you don’t have to pay a professional to install the system for you. You usually get clear instructions from the VoIP provider and you benefit from support as well, in case you have any questions or you run into any kind of problems.